Labour: Mini-Budget 'an admission of 12 years of economic failure'

Labour: Mini-Budget 'an admission of 12 years of economic failure'
Rachel Reeves speaking in the Commons after the chancellor's mini-Budget (Credit: PA Images)

Today's fiscal statement proved the Conservative party had got it wrong over the past decade in power, said Rachel Reeves, who warned the chancellor's new plan was not as much of a game changer as he'd like people to believe.

Addressing MPs in the House of Commons this morning (September 23), the shadow chancellor of the exchequer said the chancellor's plans were based on an outdated ideology of rewarding the wealthy, which would in turn trickle down to benefit those less well off.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng this morning announced plans to cut stamp duty, reform planning laws, reverse plans to raise corporation tax, and, the rabbit in the hat, abolish the additional rate of income tax of 45 per cent.

He also pledged give aways for new businesses and confirmed the government's energy price guarantee.

Responding to the chancellor's dubbed mini-Budget, which in actual fact comprised a sizeable package of reforms, Reeves said: "This statement is an admission of 12 years of economic failure. And now here we are. One last throw of the dice. One last claim that these ministers will be different."

She criticised prime minister Liz Truss for endorsing previous conservative governments' economic decisions when seemingly wanting to break away from these strategies now.

She pointed to the track record of those previous governments, saying they had left the country in a state of lower growth, lower investment and lower productivity "and today we learn that we have the lowest consumer confidence since records began.  

"The only things that are going up are inflation, interest rates and bankers' bonuses...and borrowing."

She pointed out there have been six plans for economic growth from the government since 2010, before arguing the chancellor's new plan was not as much of a game changer as he would like people to believe.

"What this plan adds up to is to keep corporation tax where it is today and take national insurance contributions back to where they were in March.

"It's all based on an outdated ideology that says if we simply reward those who are already wealthy the whole of society will benefit. They've decided to replace levelling up with trickle down. 

"As President Biden said this week, he is sick and tired of trickle down economics. And he is right to be. It is discredited, it is inadequate and it will not unleash the wave of investment that we need."

Reeves welcomed the government's measures to tackle the cost of energy for consumers, but criticised its refusal to tax energy giants and to borrow money to fund the policy instead.

"Instead of standing up for working people, the Conservatives chose to shield the gigantic windfall profits of the energy giants, leaving tens of billions of pounds on the table and pushing all of the costs onto government borrowing, to be paid for by current and future taxpayers.